Strengthen Your Marriage

In today’s culture, the idea of marriage is often viewed as outdated and unnecessary. We’re inundated with messages that suggest marriage is a burden, and that there are no real benefits to being married. These messages are especially appealing to young adults, who are often choosing to remain single or cohabitate instead of getting married. But as Christians, it’s important to understand what God says about marriage, and why it’s still a sacred and necessary institution.

According to Genesis 1:27-28, God created humanity in His own image, and blessed them with the ability to multiply and fill the earth. This perfect union, according to Scripture, involves male and female being joined together, blessed by God, and given the gift of multiplication. Marriage is a covenant given by God, and while it’s not the ultimate relationship (that honor belongs to our relationship with Jesus), it is the closest thing to it.

However, the culture around us often works against the idea of marriage. Many young adults today are opting for singleness or cohabitation instead of marriage, due in part to their experiences with divorce. Roughly 40% of marriages will end in divorce, but the declining divorce rate also means that more children are being raised by their married biological parents. This is good news, but it’s not enough.

As Christians, we need to respond to this cultural shift with a message that emphasizes the sacredness of marriage. We need to remind ourselves and others that marriage is a life-giving institution that’s worth the effort. It’s a covenant given by God that involves mutual commitment, sacrifice, and love. And while it’s not always easy, it’s a beautiful thing when done right.

We must also remember that both singleness and marriage are gifts from God, and that both have immense purpose. Marriage is not the only way to experience love and fulfillment, but it is a powerful way to reflect God’s love for us. It’s an opportunity to grow and mature, to learn how to love and serve another person sacrificially, and to experience the joys and challenges of life together. Here are 5 ways you and your spouse can grow together:

1. Prioritize Time Together

In a world where we are constantly busy, it’s easy to neglect spending quality time with our spouse. However, making time for each other is crucial to strengthening your marriage. Ephesians 5:25 reminds us to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Make it a priority to schedule regular date nights and spend quality time together, without any distractions. This can be as simple as taking a walk, cooking dinner together, or watching a movie.

2. Communicate Openly and Honestly

Communication is the key to any healthy relationship, and marriage is no exception. Be open and honest with your spouse about your thoughts, feelings, and needs. Don’t hold back, but also be respectful in your communication. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Practice active listening, and make sure you are truly hearing what your spouse is saying.

3. Practice Forgiveness

No marriage is perfect, and we all make mistakes. However, holding onto grudges and resentment can harm your marriage. Practice forgiveness, as Ephesians 4:32 reminds us to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your feelings, but rather that you should work towards letting go of anger and bitterness.

4. Serve Each Other

Marriage is not just about what you can get, but what you can give. Serve your spouse by putting their needs ahead of your own. Philippians 2:3-4 encourages us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” This can be as simple as doing the dishes, giving your spouse a break, or showing appreciation for the things they do for you.

5. Pray Together

Prayer is a powerful tool that can bring you and your spouse closer together. Make it a habit to pray together regularly, both for each other and for your marriage. Matthew 18:20 reminds us that “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” This can be a time to share your struggles, seek guidance, and give thanks for the blessings in your life.

By following these practical steps, with the help of scripture, you can strengthen your marriage and build a foundation that will last a lifetime. Remember, no marriage is perfect, but with God’s help, we can work towards creating a strong, healthy, and fulfilling relationship with our spouse. It’s important to remember that marriage is a journey, and it takes effort and commitment from both partners to make it work. But by putting God at the center of your marriage and following these steps, you can create a marriage that is truly life-giving.

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Speaker: Jesse Sampson